Tag: So Taguchi

Offense from right a little slight

You would probably guess that the right field platoon of Jenkins and Werth hasn’t been a smashing success, but you may not have realized just how bad it has been. Here’s a look at how the Phillies are producing offensively by position this season, using OPS as the measure (does not include yesterday’s games):



NL Rank
C 729 7
1B 794 11
2B 990 1
3B 721 13
SS 767 7
LF 980 1
CF 808 4
RF 706 15

It’s not going to be a surprise to many people that third base continues to be a big problem for the Phils. Howard’s struggles compared to other first basemen in the league have been more dramatic than I would have guessed. The right field production has been a worse problem than either of them.

You can also see the problem in right field if you look at production by spot in the batting order compared to other teams in the NL, again using OPS as the measure and not counting yesterday’s games:


NL Rank
1 764 8
2 792 2
3 983 3
4 821 10
5 973 1
6 734 10
7 758 6
8 711 2

Werth has moved around some, but generally speaking the six-hole is the home of Werth and Jenkins this season. If you look at the list, two of the other problems areas at one (Rollins) and four (Howard) seem likely to improve as the season progresses.

The problem in right for the Phillies is primarily Jenkins, who has not hit well for much of the season and is currently 2-for-his-last-24, and the fact that Werth has been less effective with the bat while playing right field than he has overall. Here’s what the Phillies who have gotten at least 25 plate appearances as a right fielder have done offensively this season while playing right field:


AB as RF



Jenkins 185 265 315 405
Werth 52 250 316 327
Taguchi 32 250 333 313

Werth is hitting 268/351/490 overall and 290/362/613 in 93 at-bats as a center fielder. That’s probably just a coincidence, but it does help explain why the numbers are so bad for the team overall. Jenkins is the big question mark. His numbers are just bad, pretty much the worst for his career since 1998, despite he gets to hit almost exclusively against right-handed pitching. 194 of his 213 plate appearances have come against righties, about 91.1%. His career line overall, 276/345/493 (287/356/520 against righties) is much better than that despite the fact that only about 76.5% of his career plate appearances have come against righties.

The good news for the Phillies is that it’s reasonable to expect Jenkins to hit much better the rest of the year than he has so far.

Adam Eaton (2-4, 4.57) faces righty Ervin Santana (8-3, 3.40) tonight. Santana was hit hard his last time out. On Saturday against the Braves he allowed six runs over 5 2/3 innings. Before that he had made three straight starts where he pitched at least into the seventh inning and allowed less than two runs. Opponents are hitting .208 against him for the season. righties just .192 and lefties .272. He has walked just 21 overall in 95 1/3 innings. Eaton has a 3.49 ERA over his last five starts and has allowed three or fewer runs six of his last seven times out. He hasn’t walked more than two hitters in a game in any of his last six starts.

Seriously, though, if Ubaldo Jimenez even shows up they should at least write a children’s book about his courage or something

Apparently the only group of people more frustrated than the fans with the Phillies’ back-to-back one-run losses to the Astros this weekend was the Phillies themselves. The Colorado Rockies, or at least what’s left of them, rolled into Philadelphia last night and for the second time in two days the Phils’ offense put on a show. A day after scoring 15 runs against the Astros, the Phillies scored 20 to pound the Rockies.

Chase Utley drove in six runs in the game. After struggling through most of May he’s 4-for-his-last-10 with two home runs and nine RBI.

The Phillies crushed the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 20-5 to improve to 29-24 on the season. In their past two games they have scored 35 runs. They have another chance to go six games over .500 for the first time this season tonight.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out a season-high seven. He faced a decimated Rockies’ lineup that did not include Holliday, Atkins, Tulowitski or Hawpe.

Willy Taveras singled to start the first. Moyer struck out Jonathan Herrera for the first out before Todd Helton moved Taveras to second with a walk. Taveras stole third before Ryan Spilborghs hit one just out to center, tying the game at 3-3. Jeff Baker hit a ground ball to short, but Howard didn’t handle the throw at first and was charged with an error. Seth Smith and Yorvit Torrealba went down behind Baker to end the frame.

More horrid defense from Howard.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 second.

With the game still tied, Helton singled with one out in the third. Spilborghs doubled to left and Helton went to third. Baker hit a fly ball to left-center and Burrell threw to third. Helton scored to put Colorado up 4-3. Smith flew to left to end the frame.

Torrealba singled to start the fourth with the score tied at 4-4. Omar Quintanilla popped to short for the first out before the pitcher Jorge De La Rosa bunted Torrealba to second. Moyer struck out Taveras to leave Torrealba stranded.

Moyer started the fifth up 10-4 and set Colorado down 1-2-3.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Moyer had thrown 79 pitches through six.

Taveras singled with two outs in the seventh, but Moyer got Herrera on a ground ball to short to end the frame.

Condrey got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eighth.

He returned for the ninth and got the first two before Quintanilla doubled and pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan followed with a single. Quintanilla scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 20-5. Taveras grounded to short to end the game.

Condrey threw 24 pitches in the game. He has his ERA down to 4.76 for the season and has been good in May. In nine appearances this month Condrey has thrown 14 innings with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. He has walked just one batter this month.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Taguchi. With Werth on the DL, Taguchi plays righty against the lefty. Coste catches against the lefty. Feliz and the catcher’s spot move up in the lineup with Taguchi hitting eighth.

Rollins and Victorino started the bottom of the first with back-to-back walks with the Phils down 3-0. A balk moved them to second and third before Utley hit a 2-2 pitch out to right-center. 3-3. Howard, Burrell and Feliz went down behind Utley.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Victorino walked with one out in the third and stole second before Utley hit a ground ball to second that Herrera didn’t handle. Victorino went to third with Utley safe at first on the error. Howard hit a ball hard to right, but Smith took it just in front of the warning track for the second out. Victorino scored to tie the game at 4-4. Utley stole second before Burrell flew to left to end the inning.

Feliz led off the fourth with a double. Coste followed and squirted a ball down the first base line that a fan reached out and grabbed. Feliz scored on the ground rule double to put the Phils up 5-4. Taguchi ripped a double into the corner in left and Coste scored. 6-4. First hit of the month for Taguchi. Moyer bunted Taguchi to third. With the infield in Rollins singled into center and Taguchi scored to make it 7-4. Victorino moved Rollins to third with a single. Utley grounded to first for the second out. Rollins scored and Victorino went to second with the Phils up 8-4. Howard and Burrell both walked, loading the bases for Feliz. Feliz singled to center and Victorino and Howard both scored. 10-4 with men on first and second. Coste flew to right for the third out.

Taguchi doubled to start the fifth and Moyer bunted him to third. Second time Moyer moved the runner along with the bunt in the game. Rollins struck out and Victorino was hit by a pitch to put men on first and third, but Utley popped to short to end the inning.

Howard walked to start the sixth. Burrell was next and was called out on a pitch that was low for the first out. Feliz moved Howard to second with a single before Coste popped an 0-1 pitch out to left to put the Phils up 13-4. Taguchi singled and a walk to Moyer moved him to second. Rollins flew to left for the second out. Victorino was again him by a pitch, loading the bases. Utley singled to right and everyone moved up a base with Taguchi scoring to make it 14-4. Howard singled to center and Moyer and Victorino scored. 16-4 with men on first and third for Burrell, who grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Dobbs doubled to start the eighth and moved to third on a single by Bruntlett. Victorino popped to short for the first out. He’d have like 80 RBI this season if he could bring in runners with a man on third and less than two outs. Eighty might be a little strong. 75? Utley singled and Dobbs scored with Bruntlett going to second. 17-5. Howard walked to load the bases. Bohn hit a dribbler passed the mound and right to where Herrera would have been if Herrera and Quintanilla hadn’t both been covering second thinking the pitcher would field the ball. Everyone moved up a base. 18-5. Feliz followed with a real single down the line into left. Utley and Howard scored and it was 20-5 with Feliz on first and Bohn on second. Coste singled to load the bases, but Condrey hit for himself and struck out. Dobbs struck out for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single and a walk.

Victorino 1-for-2 with two walks and scored four runs.

Utley 3-for-6 with a home run and six RBI.

Howard 1-for-2 with three walks and three RBI.

Burrell 0-for-4 with a walk.

Feliz 4-for-6 with a double and four RBI. His single in the ninth should have been a double as well.

Coste 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and four RBI.

Taguchi 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

6-7-8 in the order combined to go 10-for-17 with nine RBI.

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.19) faces righty Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 4.61) tonight. In nine of Jimenez’s ten starts he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer. Jimenez shut the Phillies down in the playoffs last season. Lefites are hitting .344 against Kendrick this season.

Phils caught in a web of Webb

Brett Myers has been pitching badly just about all year long, so it’s hard to say that throwing 121 pitches against the Giants on Saturday was a factor in today’s start. It is safe to say that there’s just about zero chance it helped, though.

For the third time in four starts, Myers gave the Phils a miserable outing. The Diamondbacks were all over him and he exited down 7-1 after five innings.

The contrast with Diamondbacks’ ace Brandon Webb wasn’t so hot. Webb threw a complete game and didn’t allow an extra-base hit.

The Phillies lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks today, falling 8-3 to drop to 20-16 on the season. The teams split the four-game set. The Phillies haven’t lost a series since the Mets beat them two out of three April 18-20. They’ve played six series since and won four and split two.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and three walks. Only six of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out five. Myers continues to be hurt by the home run, among other things. After the one he allowed today he has now given up 12 in his last 44 innings.

With one out in the first, Augie Ojeda singled and Chris Young followed with a home run to left, putting Arizona up 2-1. Myers got the next two.

Mark Reynolds and Chris Snyder started the second with back-to-back singles that put men on first and second for Chris Burke. Burke hit into a double-play with Reynolds safe at third. Myers struck out the pitcher Brandon Webb to end the inning.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 third.

In the fourth, Myers walked Justin Upton and Stephen Drew to start the inning before Mark Reynolds reached on an infield single. Snyder hit a two-run double to left that put Arizona up 4-1 with men on second and third. Burke hit a ground ball between third and short that went off the glove of Dobbs for a single. Reynolds scored and it was 5-1. Webb flew to right for the first out before Byrnes hit a double-play ball to second that Utley dropped for an error, loading the bases. Ojeda flew to center and Snyder scored. 6-1. Young popped to short to end the inning.

The first five batters in the inning went walk, walk, single, double, single, which isn’t really what you’re looking for.

Drew tripled to right with one out in the fifth and scored when Reynolds followed with a single. 7-1. Snyder popped to second for the second out before Reynolds stole second. Myers got behind the righty Burke 2-0 and walked him intentionally to pitch to Webb. He struck Webb out to end the inning. Walking Burke intentionally is not a good decision. You really need to try to get him out so the pitcher starts the next inning. You’re already down by six runs and Burke ended the day hitting .149 for the year. That might not have been the difference in this one, though.

Condrey pitched the rest of the game for the Phils. He threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Upton lead off the seventh with a home run that made the score 8-1, but Condrey got the next three in order. He got three ground outs in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Nice job by Condrey to pitch well enough to save the bullpen. He was in just his second game since April 27. That’s not enough. He threw 34 pitches, which should put him out at least one game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Brandon Webb went (1) Victorino (2) Bruntlett (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Jenkins (6) Dobbs (7) Taguchi (8) Coste. Burrell, 4-for-16 with a home run against Webb in his career, on the bench with Taguchi in left. Dobbs gets a start at third despite the big home run from Feliz the night before. Coste catches Myers.

Victorino led off the first with a ground ball to first that Burke knocked down but couldn’t handle cleanly. Victorino was safe with a single. Bruntlett hit a ground ball to short and it looked like Drew could have gotten Victorino at second, but threw to first for the first out with Victorino safe at second. Victorino went to third on a passed ball before Utley flew to center deep enough to score him, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second and again in the third.

Bruntlett was hit by a pitch to start the fourth and stole second after Utley flew to left for the first out. Howard grounded to first and Jenkins popped to third.

1-2-3 in the fifth. Bruntlett singled with two outs in the sixth but Utley grounded to first behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

In the eighth, Coste singled with one out. Harman, who entered the game in the sixth as a pinch-hitter and stayed on to play second and give Utley some rest in the blowout, hit into a double-play to end the frame.

With Webb still on the mound, Victorino started the ninth with a single and stole second. Bruntlett followed with another single, scoring Victorino to cut the lead to 8-2. Ruiz hit for Condrey and grounded to third for the first out with Bruntlett moving to second. Howard lined a single into right and Bruntlett scored. 8-3. Jenkins hit into a double-play to end the game.

The Phils had six singles in the game and didn’t draw a walk.

Victorino was 2-for-4 in the game and 6-for-17 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 256/322/317 on the year.

Bruntlett was 2-for-3 with an RBI. 7-for-18 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the series. 250/308/352.

Utley was 0-for-2 with an RBI and his fifth error in the game. 3-for-13 with two doubles in the series. 345/423/727 on the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 2-for-13 with two singles and six strikeouts in the set. 165/285/331.

Jenkins was 0-for-4. 4-for-14 in the series. 255/292/349. He has one extra-base hit in his last 51 at-bats.

Dobbs was 0-for-3. 1-for-5 in the series. 283/333/457.

Taguchi 0-for-3. 0-for-5 in the series. 182/217/227. 2-for-his-last-23 with two singles.

Coste was 1-for-3. 1-for-6 in the series. 288/383/481 on the season. Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 5-for-11 with five singles in the series. 235/293/318.

Burrell was 1-for-12 with five strikeouts in the series. 305/432/627 on the year.

Feliz was 5-for-11 with a double and a home run in the series. 237/293/421 on the year. That gives him an OPS for the season of .714 — from 2005 through 2007 the range on his OPS at the end of the season went from .708 to .717.

Cole Hamels (3-3, 3.10) faces lefty Pat Misch (0-0, 5.40) on Friday in San Francisco as the Phils play the first of three against the Giants. Misch has made just two appearances with the Giants this season, and one of them was a start against the Phils on May 2. The Phils scored four runs against Misch in four innings in that start. Utley and Feliz both homered off of him. Righties are hittting .333 against Misch, lefties are 1-for-12. On the year he’s allowed four home runs in ten innings. Over his last three starts Hamels has allowed 11 runs in 20 1/3 innings and seven of the runs have come on the four home runs he’s allowed. Opponents are hitting .213 against him, lefties .211 with an 0.87 ratio. He faced the Giants on May 4 and allowed four runs in six innings. Rich Aurillia hit two doubles and a home run off of him in that game.

Blast from the Pat

Maybe the Phillies have a bitter taste left in their mouth from getting swept out of the playoffs last season by the Rockies and maybe they don’t. Either way, they came to Colorado to play and twice in two games went hard all nine innings and twice got a dramatic win. On Monday they scored five runs in the last two innings after starting the eighth down 5-4. Last night they started the eighth down 6-4, added a run in the top of the eighth and got three more in the top of the ninth on a three-run double from Pat Burrell.

The bats of Burrell, Utley and suddenly Werth are carrying the Phils these days as the muddle by without Rollins or Victorino at the top of the order. They have won three in a row for the first time this season. Feliz added three hits yesterday, if the Phils could get his bat going it would be a huge help. But even with the torrid pace of Utley and Burrell, none of it would be possible without the contribution of the bullpen, who gave the Phils six shutout innings in the two-game sweep of the Rockies.

Charlie Manuel’s contribution can’t be ignored either. In addition to keeping his team playing at a high level through a ton of early adversity, Manuel rolled the dice and came up lucky last night. In the eighth inning he used the lefties on his bench to try to break through with a righty on the mound, pinch-hitting for his starting catcher and his starting shortstop in a close game. Not especially noteworthy except for the fact that he doesn’t have a backup shortstop. And it worked.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 8-6 to improve to 11-10 on the season. The Phils sweep the two-game set and have won three in a row. They are finally above .500 for the first time on the season.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits and two walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles, a triple and a home run. His ERA is at 4.78 after five starts.

Clint Barmes singled with one out in the first, but Myers got Todd Helton and Matt Holliday to ground out behind him to end the inning. Utley made another good defensive play on the ball that Helton hit, diving to his right to snare the hard hit ground ball.

Garrett Atkins started the second with a single. Brad Hawpe flew to left for the first out before Jeff Baker hit a ground ball to short. Atkins was forced at second for the second out with Baker safe at first. Yorvit Torrealba moved Baker to second with a single before the pitcher Jeff Francis grounded to second for the third out.

Myers started the third up 2-0 and got the first two before Helton came to the plate. Helton smashed his first pitch into right-center for a double. Holliday followed and hit a ball that landed on the warning track in right for another double. Helton scored to cut the lead to 2-1. Atkins flew to center for the third out.

Hawpe led off the fourth with the Phils up 3-1 and lined a ball into left. Burrell dove for it and missed. He was in the right place to dive and almost made the catch, but mistimed the dive. Hawpe had a triple. I don’t think Burrell made a bad decision to dive, but the execution of the dive left some room for improvement. Baker was next and singled up the middle. Utley knocked it down before it got to the outfield, but Hawpe scored easily to make the score 3-2. Torrealba struck out looking for the first out before Francis bunted Baker to second. Willy Tavares split the gap with a drive to left-center and Baker scored easily to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs Baker probably would have scored from first without the bunt. Barmes flew to right for the third out.

Holliday homered to center with one out in the fifth to put Colorado up 4-3. Myers got Atkins on a popup to second for the second out before he walked the lefty Hawpe on four pitches. The righty Baker behind him moved Hawpe to second with a single. Torrealba popped up near the mound to end the inning.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

With the game tied at 4-4 in the seventh, Myers got the leadoff man before Holliday drew a one out walk. Atkins followed with a home run to left that put Colorado up 6-4. Hawpe and Tulowitski went down behind Atkins to end the inning. Utley, whose defense is suddenly sparkling after a miserable start to the year, snared a hard hit line drive by Hawpe for the second out.

Ryan Madson started the eighth with the Phils trailing 6-5 and Pedro Feliz playing shortstop. Torrealba led off the inning with a single, but Coste, who had just entered after pinch-hitting for Myers in the top of the inning, threw him out on a close play. Scott Podsednik hit for the pitcher and flew to left for the second out. Taveras grounded to second to end the inning.

The Phils scored three times in the top of the ninth and Lidge came on in the bottom of the inning with an 8-6 lead. Lidge was pitching for the third day in a row after throwing on Monday in a non-save situation. If it was a problem for him the symptoms are hard to find. He struck out Barmes and Helton and got Holliday on a ground ball to second to end the game and keep his ERA at 0.00 for the season.

Two more shutout innings for the amazing pen. By contrast, the Rockies pen went two innings and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk. In the series the Phils’ pen went six shutout innings, allowing two singles and a walk. Phillies’ starters went 12 innings, allowing 11 earned runs on 19 hits and four walks. Lidge is almost certainly unavailable tonight after going three days in a row — if he’s not he should be. The appearance with a four-run lead in the first game against Colorado still wasn’t fantastic. Madson threw 17 pitches and I would guess he’s available tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jeff Francis went (1) Taguchi (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Ruiz (8) Bruntlett. Taguchi in right against the lefty, Werth in center. Counting Myers in the nine spot, spots four through nine in the order the Phils come into the game with one player, Burrell, hitting above .212 on the season.

Werth singled with one out in the first, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Bruntlett led off the third and lined a double down the line in left. Myers tried to bunt and fouled two off before grounding to short for the first out with Bruntlett holding. Taguchi flew to center and Bruntlett moved to third with two down. Werth walked, putting men on first and third for Utley. Utley hammered a double into left-center, scoring both runners and putting the Phils up 2-0. Howard struck out to end the frame. Nice to see Bruntlett get things going with the double after so many struggles at the plate. Myers almost hurt the Phils with the problems getting the bunt down, but Utley bailed him out.

Burrell walked to start the fourth and moved to second when Feliz dribbled a single up the middle and through. Ruiz hit a ground ball to short, which would have been a double-play but the umpire ruled that Baker did not touch the bag at second base. He didn’t, but they never do. Odd call. It put men on second and third with one out for Bruntlett. Bruntlett hit it hard, but right at Helton for the second out. Myers walked to load the bases. Taguchi was taking 2-2 and took a close pitch that was called a ball. Francis’ next pitch was way up and away and Taguchi had a walk, forcing in Burrell to put the Phils up 3-1. Werth grounded out to second for the third out. You can’t walk Myers there, that’s pretty bad. Nice to see Bruntlett hit the ball hard again, even though it was right at Helton.

Utley, Howard and Burrell went 1-2-3 in the fifth with the scored tied at 3-3.

Feliz started the sixth with a single with the Phils down 4-3. Ruiz fouled out to the catcher for the first out before Bruntlett hit a ground ball to third. Atkins threw to second to force Feliz for the first out, but Baker’s relay to first was way high and Bruntlett went to second on the error. Second time in two innings that Baker had trouble at second with a shoulda-been double-play. Myers hit for himself and struck out swinging to leave Bruntlett stranded at second.

With one out in the seventh, Werth hit a monster shot way out to left, tying the game at 4-4. Utley and Howard grounded out behind him.

The Phils found themselves down again in the eighth after two runs from the Rockies in the bottom of the seventh made the score 6-4. Feliz doubled with one out and, with the righty Matt Herges on the mound, Jenkins hit for Ruiz and struck out for the second out. Dobbs hit for Bruntlett and singled into right. Feliz scored and it was 6-5. Coste hit for Myers and grounded to third to end the frame.

Quite an inning for Manuel, who pulls his starting catcher and his starting shortstop to give the two lefties on his bench a chance against the righty. He takes Bruntlett out of the game and puts Feliz to shortstop in the bottom of the eighth in a one-run game. Wow. He would have been absolutely obliterated if Feliz had booted a ball in a close game in the eighth or ninth and the move didn’t work. It did. Dobbs got a clutch two-out hit and Feliz didn’t have to do much in the two innings he played short, his action primarily consisted of taking the throw from Coste to nail Torrealba stealing. I like the moves by Manuel even if they hadn’t worked, but whether you do or not you have to admit it was gutsy.

Feliz had played 23 games at shortstop over his career coming into last night’s game, including 14 starts there for the Giants in 2004.

Righty Manny Corpas came on to throw the ninth for Colorado with the Rockies up 6-5. Taguchi had to hit for himself after Manuel used the lefties on the bench in the eighth, and led off with a single. Werth struck out for the first out before Utley singled to center. Taguchi went to third and so did the throw from Tavares in center, which allowed Utley to go to second. The righty Corpas walked the lefty Howard, which is a no-brainer cause of lefty-righty and setting up the double-play, and it brought up Burrell with one out and the bases loaded. Burrell got behind 0-2 before he laced a 2-2 pitch into left-center, just out of the reach of a diving Tavares. It cleared the bases and put the Phils up 8-6 with one out. Burrell went to third on the throw home. Howard, who was right on the heels of Utley, slid in just safely. Feliz grounded back to the pitcher for the second out before Brad Harman made his major league debut, pinch-hitting for Ryan Madson. He got ahead 3-1 but popped up to Tulowitski at short to end the frame.

Harman did not play short in the bottom of the ninth — I think you have to interpret that as meaning that Manuel thinks Feliz is a better defensive shortstop than Harman. I don’t know if it means we’ll never see Harman at short or not — he was just about exclusively a second baseman in the minors in 2007 and so far in 2008.

Taguchi was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in the game. 1-for-8 in the two-game series. 241/267/310 on the season. Less lefties in Milwaukee is going to mean less Taguchi and more Jenkins in right for the Phils.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and a long home run. 4-for-9 with a double and two home runs in the series. It’s going to be over-shadowed by what Utley and Burrell have been doing, but Werth surged to life against Colorado and the Phils really needed his bat. 300/407/540.

Utley was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-9 with two doubles and a home run in the set. Preposterously, 357/429/810 on the year. His glove is suddenly back as well, after a weak start to the season.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two singles in the series. 190/316/367. He’s 3-for-his-last-22 with three singles and nine strikeouts. Utley, Burrell, Werth and the bullpen deserve tremendous credit that the Phils are keeping their heads above water with Rollins and Victorino out and Howard struggling so badly.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a walk and a three-run double. 4-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 357/471/729 on the year.

Feliz 3-for-5 with a double. 3-for-9 with a double in the series. 232/303/406.

Ruiz was 0-for-3. 1-for-7 with a double in the set. 200/241/255 on the year. Coste was 0-for-1 and 0-for-1 with a hit by pitch in the series. 370/469/704. How much better defensively does the guy hitting 200/241/255 have to be than the guy hitting 370/469/704?

Bruntlett 1-for-3 with a double. 1-for-7 with a double in the series. 180/241/260.

Jenkins mostly sat this one out against the lefties. 0-for-1 with a strikeout yesterday and 1-for-3 in the series. 250/294/359.

Cole Hamels (2-2, 1.86) faces righty Dave Bush (0-3, 7.02) tonight in Milwaukee. Bush has made three starts this season and opponents are hitting .290 against him. None of his starts have been especially good. The best was him most recent. Last Tuesday he held the Cardinals to three runs over six innings. His control hasn’t been good this season, he’s walked ten in 16 2/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .385 against him so far, but he’s been much tougher on right-handed hitters, holding them to a .222 average. He faced the Phils twice in 2007, those starts came on May 14 and August 4. Hamels allowed more than one earned run in a start his last time out, he was charged with four runs against the Mets over seven innings on Friday. Opponents are hitting just .181 against him on the season and he’s allowed just one run in 29 innings. He made two starts against the Brewers last season, which came on May 16 and August 4. In the May 16 start he took a perfect game into the seventh inning before he walked Rickie Weeks and JJ Hardy followed with a two-run home run.

The Start Log has been modified to include the number of pitches by the starting pitcher, his high for the season, total pitches and average number of pitches per start.

Taguchi acquisition apparently willing to go the extra mile to make sure you hate it

The Phillies put Matt Smith on waivers to make room for So Taguchi on the 40-man roster. Smith was due to miss much of ’08 after Tommy John surgery, but the choice is still surprising to me. TJ Bohn is on the 40-man roster for one thing, but that was already kind of a surprise in its own special way. They just added Lincoln Holdzkom in the Rule 5 draft and the chances that they aren’t going to have to offer him back to the Red Sox seem very small. Travis Blackley’s chances look a little better, but not good.

Don’t get that one, unless the Phillies just think that Smith is done. He was miserable in ’07, but was on the mound in big spots of big games at the end of 2006 for the Phils. He made 12 September appearances for the Phils in ’06 in the thick of a push for the Wild Card and wasn’t charged with a run in 11 of them. He struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings in those appearances while throwing to a 2.70 and an 0.90 ratio. The Phils still have a lefty problem in the pen — Romero helps a lot but they need another guy. Fabio Castro is going to be real good someday, I’m not as sure about Zagurski, Youman, Blackley or Happ.

Recapping the Bobby Abreu trade, the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for shortstop CJ Henry, Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez and pitcher Carlos Monasterios. They’ve already released Henry (who resigned with the Yankees). If Sanchez or Monasterios are ever going to help the Phils it’s not going to be for a while.

Josh Towers signed a one-year deal with the Rockies for $400,000.

So you think you can outfield

The Phillies signed Geoff Jenkins to a two-year, $13 million contract. That’s really good news for the Phils.

If you’ve been wondering who will be pinch-running for Pat Burrell in the sixth inning, the answer is apparently So Taguchi. The Phillies signed Taguchi to a one-year, $1 million contract. The signing of Taguchi looks like it will push Chris Snelling off the roster.

Not a fan of this move. Taguchi’s .391 career slugging percentage means he doens’t belong in left or right. The Phils are weak at center field when Victorino goes down, but if Taguchi were to take over the every day job as a center fielder they would still be weak there and need to find another solution. He turns 38 in July. The problem will be compounded by the fact that Manuel has been so bad using defensive replacements over the past two seasons. One of the solutions for that would have been not to give him any and see what kind of damage he can do with Eric Bruntlett. I would have much preferred the Phillies kept Snelling as the fifth outfielder and let Werth handle the backup duties as center fielder. Werth isn’t ideally suited for that job, but I’d much rather have the team be weak defensively at backup center fielder than have them carry Taguchi all season. It doesn’t look like the Phils are going to do that.

The Phillies also signed righty Chad Durbin to a one-year, $900,000 contract. Durbin has a career 5.75 ERA over 465 innings and has made 75 career starts in which he’s thrown to a 5.83 ERA with a 1.57 ratio. Pitching for the Tigers in 2007 he allowed 21 home runs in 127 2/3 innings, so he doesn’t seem like an ideal fit for Citizens Bank Park. He turned 30 earlier this month.

The Phillies have a big problem at the back of their rotation and it isn’t getting any better. I’d be surprised if Durbin, Youman or Blackley proved to be the answer.

The Phillies pried catcher Josh Eachues away from the South Georgia Peanuts. He’s not coming soon to a theater near you. You may have to go to him.

The Phils sent Pete Laforest to Triple-A.

The Mets may be interested in Jon Lieber.

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